Amy Ralph Mudge

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FTC Case Against Rent to Own Company Airs Differences Over Redress, Individual Liability and ROSCA

The Rent to Own industry has been a frequent target of Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) action. While the industry notes that it provides an ownership option for consumers who are unable to pay up front and who may not qualify for traditional credit, critics point to the fact that the final cost of … Continue Reading

Commissioner Wilson Weighs In on FTC Priorities

We have blogged quite a bit about efforts by one or both of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC or Commission) Democratic commissioners to push the Commission into a more enforcement-minded posture and to think creatively and expansively about the enforcement tools the Commission has at its disposal. Thus it seems appropriate to give equal time … Continue Reading

FTC Finally Strikes Gold With Made in USA Enforcement: Williams-Sonoma Agrees To Pay $1 Million in Consumer Redress

In the past few months, a minority of the commissioners have called for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) to take the heretofore unprecedented step of seeking consumer redress in Made in USA (MUSA) cases. (In the past such cases only involved money when penalties were imposed for violating an existing order).  In a … Continue Reading

It’s a Mixed Salad for the ‘Natural’ and ‘Pure’ Claims for Foods With Trace Pesticides

Can you call your processed food product “natural” or “pure” when it contains a residual amount of an herbicide or pesticide that the manufacturer did not add but was used by a producer in growing an ingredient in the product? Recent cases confirm that such a product can still be called “natural” – at least … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Update: Consumer Class Action Filed Over Hand Sanitizer Claims

Earlier this week, we blogged about the FTC and FDA’s joint warning letters to seven companies that claimed their products could treat or cure coronavirus. However, the regulators aren’t the only ones taking action over deceptive advertising practices related to coronavirus. A group of California consumers filed a class action complaint alleging Vi-Jon Inc. “advertised, … Continue Reading

Regulators Issue Warning: These Products Cannot Treat Coronavirus

Last week at our #BakerDigitalForum (BakerHostetler’s forum on advertising, e-commerce, data privacy & security law) we heard from Richard Cleland, assistant director, Advertising Practices, for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. He informed attendees that the FTC’s priorities often come from the headlines, citing COVID-19 as the first example of current events … Continue Reading

The FTC, AI and Algorithms

If you got past the title to this point, congratulations – not sure that we would have. In exchange for your trust, we promise to try to address a complicated and fascinating subject in a relatively clear manner. That’s pretty much what Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) did in a recent … Continue Reading

Are Made in USA Chickens Worthless? These and Other Deep Questions from the FTC’s Made in USA Workshop

Today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a half-day workshop looking at Made in USA claims and the FTC’s guidance and enforcement. For those who want to watch “all or substantially all” of the event, the videos and materials can be accessed here. Some highlights and suggested next steps are below. By way of general background, … Continue Reading

Lead Generation Leads to FTC Settlement

There is nothing particularly new about the idea of lead generation in marketing. Companies have from the very beginning paid their own employees or paid others to help find prospects for their goods and services. However, in today’s digital world and with the myriad different ways in which consumer information is gathered, the use of … Continue Reading

FTC MUSA Remedy Wars Continue

We recently wrote about the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) recent approval of a pair of Made in USA (MUSA) settlements. It is also worth noting that the approvals drew a statement and a dissent from the Commission’s Democrats and a concurrence from Chairman Simons. As is often now the case, the dispute made its way … Continue Reading

20 Years Young: The Maturing of COPPA in a Privacy-Conscious Age

We cover children’s privacy and advertising weekly. However, in light of COPPA’s recent 20th anniversary, and in the wake of CARU’s biggest-yet West Coast CARU conference, ADLaw has enlisted CARU super lawyer Katie Goldstein* to help us recap the past 2.5 decades of KIDlaw. 1998: A Concern for Children’s Privacy Was Born From the moment home … Continue Reading

COPPA Safe Harbor Hit by Storm

Administrations come and administrations go, but the FTC and self-regulation have had a long-running love affair. But can there be too much of a good thing? The FTC has long been an enthusiastic cheerleader and active supporter of self-regulatory programs such as NAD. And the bloom doesn’t appear to be off that rose. However, a … Continue Reading

What’s In the Box? FTC Solicits Public Comments Regarding Video Game Loot Boxes Amidst Uncertainty

Imagine you are playing golf, badly, and at the fourth hole a caddy appears out of nowhere with a large box and an offer. In exchange for $20, you can open the box, which may contain high-tech clubs to improve your game, fashionable new gloves or a voucher for a free round. Perhaps you hesitate, … Continue Reading

Judge Sours on Natural Class Action Lawsuit Against Starbucks Gummies

Class action lawsuits alleging misleading advertising of food and beverage products show no sign of abating anytime soon. So we have to give a shout out once in a while when the good guys score a win and common sense appears to prevail. This happened recently in a class action alleging that Starbucks had misleadingly … Continue Reading

The Scope of CDA and DMCA Protection for Online Services Continues to Evolve

The Communications Decency Act (CDA) and Safe Harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) give some protections to operators of websites and other online services from some third-party claims arising out of user generated content.  The law is continuing to evolve.  Click here to see a terrific summary of notable cases and legislation … Continue Reading

Welcome.

Change, they say, helps keep you young. We certainly hope so. We are very excited about our new home at BakerHostetler and the opportunity to add a blog to the Advertising, Marketing and Digital Media team’s highly regarded weekly newsletter. (If you aren’t already receiving the newsletter, you should be. Click here to subscribe.) Anchored … Continue Reading

Are Reports of the Federal Trade Commission’s Death Greatly Exaggerated?

The multiverse is abuzz about the recent Third Circuit ViroPharma decision and other like-minded courts that have placed significant limitations on the ability of the Federal Trade Commission to obtain an injunction in federal court against allegedly unlawful behavior that companies have already ceased. The FTC Act as originally written required that the agency bring … Continue Reading
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